Category Archives: ACCESSORIES

ACCESSORY IDEAS

I recently signed on to Zulily.com and took a look at their home décor section. They have some very affordable and stylish items if you pick through carefully. You do have to register an email address and user name to browse the site, but it’s very simple. Here are 9 great things I found:

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A. White Sitting Buddha $20.99

B. Potted Arrangement $11.50

C. Mustache Clock $6.99

D. Horse Head Bookends $18.99

E. Brown & Blue Global Pillow $37.49

F. Bamboo Can $23.49

G. Lime Green Zigzag & Dot Reversible Place Mat Set of Four $20.49

H. Blue Candleholder $11.99

I. White Portrait Mirror $17.99

Case Study

PROBLEM: A living room that gets very little light and is currently occupied with oversized furniture, and walls that are too dark.

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SOLUTION: Start by choosing brighter wall colors. A buttery beige on the two side walls is accented by a cooler, yet still light, slate color on the back wall. A lighter toned bamboo shade is added for some privacy while still letting a fair amount of light in. A smaller and brighter sofa and love seat take over where the oversized green microfiber left off. A retro-modern ottoman serves as both coffee table and storage space and adds a rich aqua color to the center of the room, drawing your eyes in away from the dark corners. Two white side tables that flank the sofa are narrow enough to fit in the tight space, but open enough on the bottom so as not to feel heavy. A black and white photograph on a brighter wall always adds great contrast while the orange chevron pillows add the final pop of color that was needed.

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Happy Endings

Bookends are awesome. Not only do they serve an actual purpose, assuming you have books, but they make a great little design touch to your shelves, desks, tables, or where ever you place them. While they are meant to keep books standing upright, they can certainly be used as purely decorative pieces, or to hold up other things like record albums.

They’ve come a long way, from the very basic design . . .

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to the most elaborate . . .

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from the kitschy . . .

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to the fishy . . .

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(yeah, yeah, I know a whale is a mammal not fish)

to the fishy AND kitschy . . .

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to whatever this is . . .

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Well you get the point, there’s a bookend for every one out there no matter what your style is.

Check out this site for some really cool and simple designs. It’s called Knob Creek Metal Arts and they have some very unique bookends. Their other items are worth checking out, clocks, garden decor etc, but their bookends are where it’s at! Here’s a few of my favorites:

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They have a lot more options and each set runs about $60, but their simple designs combined with the little stories they each tell are a great deal! And remember, use bookends like you would any accessory in your home. Don’t have actual bookshelves, try putting them on an end table. Don’t have an end table, try putting them on a counter in your bathroom or kitchen. Don’t have a bathroom or kitchen . . . then maybe don’t spend $60 on bookends!

For the Birds!

I just flew back from D.C. and boy are my arms tired (ba-Dum-dum). Today’s post is for the birds, or about them at least. When I was in Washington my wife and I headed to Georgetown and did a little window shopping on M Street. If you haven’t been to D.C., or Georgetown more specifically, go. Take a cab and tell the driver to drop you off at M Street and 31st Street NW. The street is lined with small’ish shops that really specialize in interior design. There are lots of other stores on this strip, but we were most interested in the home decor shops.

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You can spend several hours shopping up and down M Street and there are items for every budget, which we REALLY liked! Everything from $6 bud vases at CB2 (Crate & Barrel’s sister store) to high end Eames Lounge chairs for $4,000+ at Design Within Reach can be had on these few blocks. Scattered between the shops are lots of great restaurants and bars, and the waterfront is just a couple blocks away as well. So if you are traveling and/or shopping with someone who thinks Herman Miller was the guy that played Herman Munster on TV, don’t worry. There’s something for everyone to do.

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I picked up these 3 birds below at CB2 for about $17 total!

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The larger bird is called georges bird and is $6.95. The two smaller birds are zaza birds and are only $4.95 each. These three guys are going to live somewhere in my home, I’m just not sure where yet. The good thing about them is they can go almost anywhere, either together or apart. Much like the ashtrays I talked about last week, these guys make a nice set of three to spread about a room and help tie it together, or cluster them as one stand alone ‘piece’.

I notice often times when people buy home decor accessories they only buy one item at a time and then try to find a place for it. The advantage of buying several of the same, or at least similar, objects is that they don’t need to match anything in your home already because they match each other! This is a good thing to think about next time you buy a vase, or candle holder, or pillow, or Andy Griffith commemorative plate, if that’s you style!

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Object Project(or)

Finding the right objet d’art (snooty word for piece of art) for a room can be tough. I recently redesigned my family room and found myself wondering what sort of objects I could find to fill it with. Well, fill isn’t the right word. I’m not one for overloading spaces with ‘things’ for ‘things’ sake, not on purpose anyway!

The room has a certain mid-century-modern look to it so I knew I wanted a couple things keeping with that time period. My wife and I headed to a local flea market not exactly sure what we were looking for. We didn’t want to spend a lot on whatever it was, that much we knew. We looked at old retro fans, cool (no pun intended) but not quite unique enough. We saw a bunch of old Bakelite radios. They were nice and certainly keeping with the period, but all of them had their own flaws which were too big to overcome, cracks, stains, missing knobs.

Finally, after walking around a bit we stumbled on the perfect fit. It wasn’t too big, wasn’t too small (Goldiloks again?), it was just PERFECT! As my wife stopped for a bathroom break I found myself leaning against the wall waiting for her when I saw it. Sitting way up on top of an old corner cabinet, almost touching the ceiling, was this brown leathery box that had a definite 50’s-60’s vibe. It looked like a camera case of some sort but was much too large for any point and shoot I’ve ever seen. Then sitting next to the case, but slightly behind it I saw the projector.

At first I didn’t know what it was. I just saw the industrial looking piece of machinery but couldn’t tell right away that it was a 16mm projector. I asked the ‘shopkeeper’ if he could get it down off the cabinet so I could get a closer look. Once he brought it down I knew for sure I had to have it. It was as if someone had polished and shined this baby just for me! Unfortunately, my wife and I have a bad habit of always picking out the most expensive things, certainly not on purpose and not because we have such a refined taste and eye for high quality. It just always seems to be that way. So when I asked the ‘shopkeeper’ how much the projector was, expecting him to say $150 . . . $200 . . . $250, I was thrilled when he said thirty-five bucks!!! SOLD! I think that works out to be about a buck a pound judging by the weight on this thing! But it is the perfect objet d’art for my home.

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So when it’s time for you to pick some new items or objet d’art for your home, try to think a little outside the box. Try repurposing things or displaying them in a different context than what they were originally intended for. Think retro if your place is traditional, think modern if your style is country, think 80’s if your place is . . . well . . . there’s never really a time to think 80’s. But you get the idea!

No Butts About It! – or – Ashes to Ashes, Butts to Butts

Ashtray.

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What was the first thing that came to mind? Dirty? Smelly? Gross? Ashtrays have long been used for both their function and their decorative look. From the greasy spoon diner type made of cheap porcelain, to the fanciest gold-leafed French stand style, these little pieces of Tobacciana (fancy word for all things having to do with smoking) are being used less and less today. And with less people smoking most homes don’t have any ashtray at all.

What this has left us with is a wide range of ashtrays on the open market, and they’re cheap. Real cheap! But just as important as being cheap is their decorative function. Who says you HAVE to use the ashtray for it’s original purpose? How about just using it as a purely decorative object? Their shape and size make them great pieces to add to any table, ottoman, or shelf. And there are literally thousands of different choices and styles. If you take a walk through your local flea market you’ll see dozens of them laying around for next to nothing. Granted, many of them are ‘tchotchke‘ type with “Welcome To Reno” written on them, or made in the shape of King Kong. But a little searching and you’ll definitely find a few that are just right for your home.

Take a look at some that I found today:

Colored glass ashtrays are wonderful because, well, they add color to your room. Ashtrays are great as accent pieces and this Amber colored orange ashtray for $14, which I found on rubylane, is no exception. Great price for a 60’s piece of smoking history.

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Here is a glass ashtray for $49 from BigAshtray. They are very retro-mod, 60’s-70’s. The blue cobalt color is very popular right now and they have 3 available. These would look great as a set in one place or scattered about a room to tie in together.

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Back in the day (whenever that was) ashtrays were sometimes built as their own ‘stand’ alone pieces of furniture. I found this ashtray stand available on OVERSTOCK for $69. It’s perfect to add to the corner of a room and fill up that small bit of space that’s been missing something. And as a bonus it can act as a little table/shelf too!

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Here’s one I found on Wayfair. It’s a bit expensive ($108) but very sleek and modern. Über Kool!

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What? You don’t have $108 to blow on an ashtray you say? How about this similar but much cheaper option from ivgStores for $29? Same sleek design, almost, and 1/4th the cost so your money won’t go up in smoke (boooooo).

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So do some research and see what you can find. Take a look at this link to the ebay listings of ashtrays. There’s something here for everyone and in every price range, even the ‘Welcome to Reno” crowd!

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From Hotel to Home

Have you ever stayed in an amazing hotel room and wanted to take a piece of it home with you? This past June I stayed in an crazy awesome room at Wynn Las Vegas. I say room but it was really a suite, in fact it was REALLY a house as it was 1800 sqft! The entire hotel property is magnificently designed and decorated from top to bottom, it is truly amazing, but that’s a post for another time. Now to the actual room decor itself; If I had millions of dollars I would just purchase everything from the Wynn catalog that was placed in my room, as everything IN my room was also sold by Wynn. But, at prices like $500 for a washcloth (well maybe not $500) who can afford to do that? What I can afford to do though is find similar decor at much cheaper prices. And that’s what this post is about.

Take a look at the two pictures of my suite below. What I will ‘bring’ home are the silver spheres and the tall candle sticks they sit on, as well as the glass table lamps. I’ve circled them in red on the photos below so it’s easier to see.

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So here’s what I was able to find for MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than the catalog price at Wynn. Granted, it may not be the same brand or quality, but all things considered it’s a pretty good match for the price.

Let’s start with those 2 glass lamps on the end tables. I’m not usually a fan of glass lamps, for some reason they always look cheap to me. But, in a room that has so much going on they are just what’s needed to rest your eye.

I found this pair on the HOME DECORATORS COLLECTION website for $170 with free shipping.

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Each lamp is 28″ X 14″ and unlike most of the other options I found, this is sold in pairs. Many people like their rooms to have symmetry and pairing things that are the same always helps balance that. And it comes with the shade, which is good and bad. It’s good in a sense that the lamps are ready to use once you screw in a lightbulb and plug it in. It’s bad in a sense that often times the stock shades that come with many lamps are not the greatest quality or style. But that’s something that you can always change later.

Now let’s look at those silver spheres. When I first saw them I wasn’t sure I liked them. But damn if they didn’t grow on me and add a bit of coolness to the room. You can find silver spheres (balls really) almost anywhere, from garden stores to high end decorators showrooms. I choose to go slightly different with this option from ZGallerie and at just $10 each these Nest Spheres are a great little option.

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They still have the shine and sparkle of silver and chrome, yet they are not as heavy and bulky as a solid silver ball would be. I would not be as afraid of these falling on the floor and denting or scratching when they land as I would the solid heavier spheres.

So now that we have our silver sphere ball shape thingy we just need something to place it on. Here’s two options for you to check out.

This first choice is at PierOne starting at about $11 and going up to $16 for the tallest one. These have a nice white-washed finish, very similar to those at Wynn in color and shape, but not quite as tall. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have 12 foot ceilings, sometimes a bit shorter is better. The tricky part about finding the right ‘holder/candlestick’ is making sure your sphere will sit in it properly. Some spheres are not actually round all the way . . . around. They have a small flat spot somewhere so they don’t roll away. But, that isn’t true with all of them so be careful what sphere you pair with what holders.

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I also found this equally affordable option at Ikea and it comes in 3 different sizes. The tallest one pictured below is $14.99 and the prices go down from there.

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Think about getting a few and having them at different heights just like the picture of the Wynn room above. Now the downside to Ikea is that you actually have to go to the store to buy anything, no online shopping :-(. But, I’m sure if you look around your area you can find a similar option at just as good of a price.

So, have you ever been on vacation and wanted to take a piece of it home with you? Well I say do it…sort of!